Yesterday, I took my baby girl out for a walk. The sky was clear and the weather not too cold, unlike today, which is “cold enough to knock the hair off a brass monkey” (as my Irish friends would say). Jewel is getting old enough to want to walk most of the time on her own two feet rather than be carried or put in the buggy. Hand in hand, we wandered down the road towards the little lake which is near to over-flooding. Jewel enjoyed pointing out the things around her and saying the words she knows, “water, lake, bird…etc” but soon she was ready to move on. As I am now eight months pregnant it can be hard to keep up with a 19 month old who loves to explore and doesn’t like to hold my hand for more than two seconds. I decided it would be best to take her down my neighbor’s lane which is narrow and fenced away from the traffic on the main road; there she could wander freely at her own pace. The morning rain had left mud puddles filling all the pot holes along the way. As I watched, Jewel went straight towards a puddle and stepped in it with one foot. She stood there a minute confused as the muddy water soaked through her little shoes. I wondered if she would decide to jump and play in the puddle or if she would be a girly girl who doesn’t like the mud. Soon she cried, “elp,” meaning “help,” so I picked her up and set her down away from the puddle. As we walked a bit farther she carefully avoided stepping in each puddle but would stop to inspect it saying, “that,” meaning, “what’s that?” I explained that they were mud puddles, or dirty water, and she seemed to grasp the concept saying “yuck, dirty.” However, each one seemed to hold a certain fascination for her and we did not make it home without pants, shoes and stocking being covered in mud. Since we live in Ireland and it rains so much here, I’ve decided that my children should enjoy the rain and jump in mud puddles, a little extra laundry won’t hurt me too badly and it will hopefully provide hours of entertainment for them in the future. It’s time to buy some wellies.
Wellies, shortened from Wellington boots, are what the Irish call rain boots. I have never seen so many different kinds of rain boots anywhere else in the world. In a country that rains as much as it does here, these are an essential item. There are stylish ones that can be worn with fashionable dresses down town Dublin, one of my friends even invited the guest of her wedding to wear Wellies to the wedding reception. There are also practical ones to wear on the farm. Some are colorful and bright, full of flowers and painted ribbons and bows, others are plain, simple, or even ugly. I chose a practical, comfortable, black pair that I found at the Ploughing Championship (similar to a State Fair, only this is a national event) last year for €25. Mine can be worn down town without looking too shabby, but mostly I wear them when I’m going riding or out to my friend’s farm. Wellies range in price from €10 all the way up to €100 or more, depending on the type you want, some are super comfy and others will rub your ankles raw. Choose wisely. Next time I go to the shops I’ll be looking for a small pair for Jewel so she can begin to have fun jumping in puddles.